The Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to dismiss a suit by the Peoples Democratic Party, seeking his disqualification in the 2023 election.
The PDP had asked the court to bar Obi from replacing his campaign manager, Doyin Okupe, with the founder of Baze University, Yusuf Baba-Ahmed as his running mate.
KEMI FILANI NEWS recalls that PDP made the call in a lawsuit – FHC/ABJ/CS/1016/2022, barring the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from replacing the running mates of Tinubu and Obi.
The main opposition argued that the term ‘placeholder’ is unknown to the Electoral Act and that Okupe had admitted publicly that he was a mere placeholder.
The lawyer representing Obi and Okupe, Alex Ejesieme (SAN), asked the court to dismiss the prayers of the PDP on four grounds.
Ejesieme argued that the PDP’s suit is speculative, conjectural in nature and devoid of hard facts.
He pointed oiut that, “The plaintiff has not disclosed any reasonable cause of action to activate the jurisdiction of this court. The subject matter of the plaintiff’s suit is not situated within the jurisdictional confines of the Federal High Court. The plaintiff’s suit is a gross abuse of court process.”
Responding to illegality of placeholder, the lawyer argued that, “Assuming it is established that the 3rd (Tinubu) and 6th (Obi) defendants did indeed make media publications indicating the alleged placeholder status of the 4th (Kabiru Madari) and 7th (Okupe) defendants, does that in its own right constitute a wrongdoing sufficient to activate the cause of action on the plaintiff?
“Is the conduct of the elections for which the defendants are to contest in, bound by the statements made in the media? Obviously not, my lord.”